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Warcry: Into the light

Warcry story Rachel QuinlanRachel Quinlan wonders how God saw hope in an anorexic, unemployed drug addict, walking the streets of Adelaide.

From a young age, I began to feel the pressure of achieving perfection in every aspect of my life. To overcome my pain and insecurities, I started to exercise and diet, which became my only focus. 

To my parents’ disappointment I deferred my law degree. An exhausting four years followed of battling anorexia, relationship break-ups, fake friends and numerous jobs—I found myself getting high every weekend. To escape reality, manage my drug addiction and stop the pain of two previous relationships, I turned to stripping.

My world came crashing down when I wasn’t making good money and everyone could see that the drugs were taking control of my life.

I remember the pivotal event when I had been walking the streets, in Adelaide, too tired to make the distance to the homeless shelter. I made a 1800 reverse call to Dad to pick me up. My father’s heartbroken response was, ‘You can’t keep on living your life like this, please put yourself in hospital, I can’t help you if you can’t help yourself.’

After trying all avenues to get out of the dead ends I had created in my life, I finally acknowledged that I was powerless and admitted myself to hospital.

There was nothing to lose as I had hit rock bottom—the only way now was up.  A picture of my broken life was drawn by one of the patients in my ward on arrival that made me turn to God. 
I thought that I would never be able to build my life up again and receive a second chance from the outside world. 

Even though I was terrified of the dramatic character change I had to make, putting faith into the unknown was the best decision I ever made.

I went along to The Salvation Army which became my second family. I started volunteering and attending church every Sunday to give my weeks a purpose. With every step and leap of faith, God doubled my blessings. 

Celebrate Recovery is a ministry that started a few months after working at the Salvos. This powerful program enables you to comfortably reveal the truth and peel off the layers of our old hurts, habits and hang-ups, once and for all. 

With the unconditional love of God through Jesus, I realised the sins and mistakes of my past do not define who I am today. 

With strength and courage, my heart is now filled with the Holy Spirit. I wake up with joy and truly believe that I was put on this earth with a purpose and a future.  

My blessings continue with new employment and restored health, praise the Lord. I play the piano for church every Sunday, attend Bible study and am organising a mission trip with fellow Salvation Army members next year.  

My old habits only provided a short-term, artificial happiness. But the gift of God is everlasting, which no one can take away. The emotional healing that God has brought to my life was a dream I had, but is now my reality.  

No matter what lies ahead my eyes will never be led on crooked paths, but will only see God’s pathway for my life. If a picture of my life was drawn again you would not think it was the same person—2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17, ‘Nothing is impossible for our almighty God’.

Other stories from Warcry

To read other stories from past issues of Warcry click here.